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Debamita Banerjee

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Anger Management: Tips and Strategies to Control Anger

Anger is caused when you're frustrated, saddened, annoyed, or exasperated by something that happens to you or you come across. It is an inseparable part of human behavior and emotional range. It urges us to take a stand for what's right and motivates us to seek greater things. But it can often prove to be much more of a vice than a virtue. Excessive anger can damage both personal and professional relationships, cause health problems, and set us on immoral paths.  

Anger Management can help you not only control your anger but direct it towards productive purposes. When you have a greater grip over your reactions, you get better at forming social connections and don't engage in rash decision-making. It's a skill that benefits people from all walks of life and gives them a chance at self-discovery.    

Anger Management Strategies  

Anger Management is a set of skills and strategies that can be used to recognize if you or somebody else is angry and then appropriately deal with the situation. It does not force a person to suppress their discontent or negative emotions, but to find more constructive ways of exhibiting them.

Here are a few anger management strategies that you can use in your daily life to control your anger.

Silence is Golden

You can often say hurtful things that you don't actually mean whilst you're blinded by rage. Your loved ones might bear the brunt of your anger a couple of times, but if you say the wrong things at your workplace or public gatherings, you're likely to develop a bad reputation and lose the favor of people around you. Hence, if you have nothing good or productive to add to a conversation, stay silent instead of saying mean things. Evaluate your words first and speak later.  

Spot Triggers

Try to identify some common causes behind your regular agitation. Once you do so, you'll be aware of what situations to avoid and be careful of. This is especially helpful in the initial stages of your journey because you might not be emotionally equipped to calm yourself on command during your stressful times.   

Give Yourself a Pep Talk 

During troubling times, you need to act as your own support system. Talk to yourself and say things like "Relax", "Take it easy", or "You're better than this" repeatedly. In fact, you can use whatever phrase that helps you. Hearing calming words over and over again, especially while taking deep breaths can have a soothing effect on people. This will help you boost your self-belief and make your anger subside.

Take a Timeout

It can be difficult to act rationally when you're furious, so the best you can do is just step away from the situation for a while. Taking a timeout gives you time to think and prepare yourself to handle taxing circumstances without taking steps that you might later on.  

If you're prone to physical violence, then distance yourself from the area of action as soon as you notice yourself getting too riled up.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs  

Alcohol and drugs are addictive substances that make you lose your inhibitions and do things that you wouldn't do in your right mind. If you're suffering from anger issues, it's best if you steer clear of intoxicating consumables because they're going to make self-restraint more difficult for you and elicit intense responses. You might even start acting violently.

Divert Your Mind  

Dwelling on an issue that fuels your anger is never helpful. The more you think about it, the more you'll be stressing out yourself and giving rise to pent-up negativity.  

If you're right in the middle of a tense situation, try to divert the course of the conversation before it gets too much for you to handle peacefully. In case you've had a bad day and find yourself being outraged about it, later on, engage in activities that make you happy to take your mind off of it and move on.   

Put Yourself in Other People's Shoes  

When you look at a situation in a unidimensional manner, you miss out on essential logic behind certain actions. Try to view things from the perspective of other people involved instead of getting all charged up in the drop of a hat. You might be able to understand the other person's reasons and vulnerabilities. When you visualize how a person might feel owing to your harsh words, it hits your conscience and urges you to take a step back. As a result, the decisions you make will be well-informed and much less intense.  

Don't Hold Grudges

If you carry hate in your heart about an incident or an individual, it harms you far more than the person on the receiving end. Once an argument is done and dusted, try to let go of all hard feelings. Forgiveness will not just help you retain relationships, but also make you proud of your own maturity. It's a sign that you're getting greater control over your reactions, a skill that'll help you manage your anger as well.  

Exercise

Exercising is not only beneficial for your physical health but also your mental health. When you're angry, you experience a surge of energy. The best way to liberate this energy without causing harm to the people around is through exercise. Instead of screaming at your family, consider going on a run around a park nearby. You can also exercise your anger away at a gym. Any form of physical activity can numb your negative thoughts and help you release the pent-up rage.

Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation  

When you're angry, your emotional cues set off a physical reaction as well. Your heart rate gets quicker, blood pressure shoots up, breathing gets quicker, and your face gets hot. By practicing deep breathing right when you start to feel like you might lash out soon, you can ease your physiological responses and in turn, calm yourself down.  

Regular and prolonged practice of both deep breathing and meditation enhance your ability to administer your emotion. As a result, you are better suited to handle tense situations without losing your composure. Read the article here https://www.iamears.com/blog/Breathing-Exercises-to-Reduce-Stress-and-Anxiety-33e75ff09dd601bb to learn breathing exercises that you could perform every day for better results.  

Don't Suppress  

The motive behind anger management is not ruling out uncomfortable conversations or taking in injustice silently. Rather, it helps you stay level-headed and come up with coherent replies. Do not simply suppress the anger you experience, try to absorb it and convey your discontent firmly. This will make sure people can't pass off your feelings for being over the top and are forced to take you seriously. 

Have a Sense of Humor

Research shows that laughter is extremely potent in improving social connections and dealing with distress. You might resort to channeling your anger through snarky sarcasm that causes backhanded pain, so steer clear of such habits. Rather lighten up the mood by partaking in healthy humor that eases difficult conversations without diminishing their sanctity. It puts you and the people around you in a much better mood to understand each other.  

Get Support  

If you do not let the people around know that you're struggling with anger issues, they might misunderstand you for being inherently rude and abusive. By having a line of open communication with your family and friends you can feel supported in your journey towards overcoming excessive anger. They will also make an effort to be considerate of your needs and call you out as soon as you cross a line.  

Another way of getting help is reaching out to various support groups catered towards people with the same problems as you. You can empathize with your peers and learn how different people conquered their anger.

 

Usually, anger always comes with a cause behind it. If you find yourself being irked by even small mishaps, you might consider getting professional help but find it difficult to obtain due to social and practical hindrances. Visit iAmEars to sign up for online counseling sessions with experienced counselors and psychiatrists. They'll patiently hear out all your concerns and help you overcome your issues. They can diagnose if your anger issues are a by-product of other serious mental problems. iAmEars provides you a forum to vent out your thoughts and emotions anonymously. You'll feel supported by a community of empathetic and kind individuals who are going through the same issues as you.

Conclusion

Anger is often passed up as a character flaw, but it's predominantly manageable if you put your mind to it. Staying calm in the face of adversities will help you tackle things methodically and make the best out of the worst. It'll also help the people in your life be more open and unguarded around you. 

Focus on the purpose your anger is trying to serve. Whether it expresses your misery in a relationship, discredit at work, or just general dissatisfaction towards life - find the root cause and use better strategies to cope with it. Your control could both help and harm you, but you get to decide its objective.

Reference

  1. A Study of Laughter and Dissociation: Distinct Correlates of Laughter and Smiling During Bereavement - https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/dacherkeltner/docs/keltner.laughter.jpsp.1997.pdf